When developing an innovation, it is fundamental to investigate not only its technical feasibility but also the environmental and economic aspects.

In particular, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) methodologies will be used to asses the environmental end economic feasibility of the NOVUM materials production and pilot lines. These methodologies are implementations of the Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) approach, a holistic perspective to measure sustainability.  LCA, a standardized and internationally recognised tool, considers the potential environmental impacts generated through a product’s full life cycle, from the extraction resources and raw materials, to the End-of-Life (EoL) (ISO, 2006). Processing of raw materials, production, use, possible recycling and final disposal of the remaining waste are then life cycle phases taken into account. The methodology allows to quantify potential impacts in different categories, according to the impact method chosen, one example above all being the Global Warming category, where the CO2 equivalent emissions are used as unit of measure.

In the NOVUM project, the production of cellulose-based electrical insulation components, using innovative materials and technologies will be compared to the state-of-the art technology, that represents the benchmark to quantify the foreseen reduction of potential environmental impacts.

Similarly, LCC takes into account all the possible capital and operational costs incurring during a production process, over a defined time-horizon, up to 25 years. The cost of capital and the envisaged incomes are taken into account as well, to calculate the Net Present Value (NPV) and the annuity (EAA), allowing to predict the optimal lifespan of a project. Finally, possible hotspots of expenditure are identified. These analyses contribute to assess the economic feasibility of the NOVUM future applications.

Author : Vertech Group

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